Area Quotation guide: working together for valuing farmer and landscape

Client:Gelderland Nature-Inclusive Farming Platform

CategoryRural Areas

As part of the Gelderland Nature-Inclusive Farming Action Plan (Actieplan Natuurinclusieve landbouw Gelderland), Nature Squared carried out research on the Profit Models report into how farmers can contribute to tasks within the rural landscape. As a result, we developed a manual to enable farmers to come up with an area vision themselves to indicate in what way and under which conditions they can contribute to the tasks in their specific area.

An area quotation

An area quotation is a joint offer by various farmers within a given area, indicating what they can do to tackle social issues and what is needed to achieve this. First drawn up by a farmer, group of farmers, or a representative of the area, the purpose of an area quotation is to provide a broadly supported, bottom-up plan for the future, by which farmers can take the lead in area processes and show what is possible with it.

Maatschappelijk bod Het maatschappelijk bod brengt de verschillende partijen samen door vraag en aanbod te verbinden. Het onderzoekt wat de maatschappij vraagt, wat boeren kunnen bieden en wat ze hiervoor nodig hebben.

The manual 

In the manual, we describe what an area quotation is, what you can do with it, who to involve, what to consider, as well as how to design the area quotation. It discusses the main components of an area quotation and includes a in-depth step-by-step plan for achieving an area quotation. We distinguish 3 phases:

  • The preparation phase, in which it is important to gather support for the area process, define the demarcation and agree on the implementation of the area tender.
  • The elaboration phase, in which mapping out area assignments and determining an individual’s own area vision is key. In this phase, workshops between farmers and governments are organised to discuss what is needed for the area vision to ensure it covers the right area tasks.
  • The assurance phase, in which the area vision is implemented and where evaluation and monitoring components are also established.

This document provides guidance for (representatives of) farmers on how to draw up an area quotation. For example: what is it, what can you do with it, who do you need to involve, what do you need to think about, and how do you design an area quotation? This document discusses the main components of an area quotation and outlines a concrete roadmap for arriving at an area quotation.

An effective process to attain an area quotation requires the following preconditions:

  1. Trust between government and farmers both on a personal and procedural level;
  2. Recognition and incorporation of farmers’ expertise and knowledge;
  3. Management by the area parties based on objectives rather than on measures. In this way, farmers can demonstrate from their expertise and motivation how they can contribute to area goals;
  4. Farmers not only contribute (supply), but are also seen and heard in what they need to contribute to the social goals (demand).

This manual for making an area offer was created in the framework of the Gelderland Nature-Inclusive Farming Action Plan, and is the result of several meetings with farmers and policy makers.

Agriculture as a valuable carrier of the Foodvalley

In the Foodvalley region, there are major challenges for agriculture in terms of nitrogen, nature, biodiversity and water. These challenges can only be relieved with the help and contribution of farmers; many of which have shown enthusiasm in contributing to solving. The preconditions are a bottleneck under which farmers can change. Consider the reward to incentivise farmers to partake for instance: it can be in the form of money, equipment or something else that has value to their particular business, such as permits or access to land. Besides developing a manual in this project, we also researched the value of agriculture for the Foodvalley and the contribution of nature-inclusive measures to area tasks.

The first chapter of this report explains the changing role of agriculture in the Foodvalley. We outline the role that agriculture has played in the region for many years and the new roles that agriculture could play.

In chapter two we elaborated on the specifics of those social challenges, including nitrogen reduction, water management, climate mitigation, biodiversity restoration, soil quality and recreation, described on the basis of policy documents and interviews with policy staff. In doing so, we describe the intended timeline of the goals and the legal rigidity.

The third chapter discusses the measures with which farmers can contribute to the area goals – often in line with a transition to nature-inclusive agriculture. We describe those measures at different levels: plot, company or landscape. For each measure we discuss the contribution to the area goals and relevant business considerations.

Implementing the measures requires investments that are often not economically feasible for farmers under the current system. Therefore in the fourth chapter, we identify what farmers need in order to implement these measures, where we will focus our attention on adequate support, financial relief and the importance of mutual trust.

This report emphasises that achieving the area goals in the Foodvalley is a challenge, but also offers a range of valuable opportunities. By striving for a good balance between ecological and economic aspects of agriculture, the Foodvalley can become a guiding region where people and nature come together and co-exist.

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